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West Main Street open for business
west main reopening
Mayor Amy Bublak, City Council members, City staff and residents of Turlock gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of West Main Street on Friday (Photo contributed).

The City of Turlock celebrated the completion of its first Measure L project with a public ribbon cutting of West Main Street on Friday.

Measure L — Local Roads First Transportation Funding — was approved by voters in November 2016 and went into effect April 1, 2017. The 25-year one-half cent countywide special sales tax is to be used exclusively for regional and local transportation, as well as other transit improvements.

The West Main project was the City’s first Measure L project and included a complete reconstruction of the areas between Lander and South Walnut in two phases.  The project took a long time to start and had a few delays during construction.

The City began soliciting public input for the West Main Street project in January 2016, with the hopes that construction could start in August 2017. Conflicting opinion on how the oldest part of West Main should be realigned and a rushed bid process delayed the project. Construction finally began in summer 2018.

“Our residents have been patient during a process that took longer than we anticipated,” said Councilmember Gil Esquer. “I am excited that we can now re-open West Main and look forward to ongoing infrastructure improvements to improve and enhance our quality of life here in Turlock.”

Phase I of the project included replacing medians and closing all but two median openings from S. Walnut Road to West Avenue South for better traffic control. The City also installed a wrought iron fence in the median adjacent to Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy, similar to the one in front of Turlock Junior High School, to encourage pedestrians to use the designated crosswalks.

Phase II, which started in April 2019, includes a complete reconstruction of West Main Street from West Avenue South to Lander Avenue. The project will also saw a majority of the water, sewer and storm utilities on West Main removed and reinstalled due to age, size or location.

Total cost of the West Main Reconstruction project was $9.3 million, with Measure L contributing approximately $6.1 million. Teichert Construction of Stockton was the general contractor on this project.

In the coming year, Measure L funding will be used for more residential roadways rather than thoroughfares as the City Council voted to move to a road strategy that utilizes a funding breakdown of 60 percent for residential roads, 20 percent for collector roads and 20 percent for arterial road classifications.